Senior Fellow

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Martin-Leo Hansmann

Research Area: Life- and Neurosciences
Focus: Pathology


Martin-Leo Hansmann studied medicine and biology in Bonn. There he received his diploma in biology in 1974 and passed his medical state examination in 1977. He received his doctorate in 1982 and habilitated in 1987 during his work (1979 to 1990) as scientific assistant and later senior physician at the Institute of Pathology of the University of Kiel (Director Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. K. Lennert). From 1990 to 1996 he was C3 Professor at the Institute of Pathology at the University of Cologne and since 1996 C4 Professor at the Senckenberg Institute of Pathology at the University of Frankfurt am Main.

In 2001 he was awarded the German Cancer Aid Prize together with Prof. Dr. R. Küppers (University of Essen) and Prof. Dr. K. Rajewsky (University of Boston).

The group of Martin-Leo Hansmann is working more than 30 years in the field of the immune system, lymph nodes and malignant lymphomas. In addition to morphological and immunohistochemical investigations,in 1990 we developed a technology, that enabled us to perform a PCR and sequencing of single cells picked from histological sections (single cell PCR). Applying this approach, we could prove Hodgkin cells, as clonal germinal centre cells derived from B cells showing so-called crippeld mutations . In the following years we could provide numerous new findings, using this single cell technology, in a normal B cell development as well as in malignant lymphomas. In addition to molecular investigations, in the last years we developed 3-D and 4D laser visualisations of cells, in histological sections, in time and space.
hese strategies enabled to measure speeds and tracs of B and T cells including contact times and dynamic interactions. The first analysis of human malignant lymphomas in time in space, provided data of different properties of lymphocytes concerning motility and the impact of contact times. The application of machine learning lead to new definitions of cells, combining morphological findings and speeds at different time points. The combination of 3-D and 4D technologies in lymph nodes should lead to so called „digital twins“ of lymph nodes and models of malignant lymphomas. New lymph-node diagnostics as well as cell therapies may become possible by these procedures.

Prof. Hansmann has been a member of FIAS since 2016.



2016 - today Senior Fellow

Further organisations

2022 - heute Groupleder at the Institute for Pharmakology and Toxikology at Goethe University Frankfurt

2018 - today Director of the Reference & Consultation Center for Lymph node and Lymph Compathology at the Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology Helios University Hospital Wuppertal and University Witten/Herdecke

1996 - 2018 C4 Professor at the Senckenberg Institute of Pathology at Goethe University: Director of the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital Frankfurt

2009 - today member of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina


  • 2008 Honorary Doctorate of the University of Athens
  • 2001 German Cancer Aid Award